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Andres Romero racked up seven birdies on Saturday. (Frankin/Getty Images)

Romero challenging at another major after record-tying 65

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Andres Romero always seems to bring his best game to the major championships. The Argentinian already has three top-10s in majors, and he's in the hunt for another after his record-tying 65 Saturday.

By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The harder the rain fell, the harder Andres Romero laughed.

And the more often he pointed up. Just not at the sky. Rather, at the top of the media center where the rain was dripping down on the reporters seated in front of him.

He was having a blast. And why not? He was finished for the day following a course-record-tying 65 that rocketed him from a tie for 48th to a tie for eighth -- most importantly, he's plus-2 for the week and three off the lead.

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"I played an excellent round," he said through his interpreter Marcos Virasoro. "Almost perfect. Yesterday I finished very nice with my round and now after this 18 holes I can't believe it, I have a chance for tomorrow and, well, I have to wait, but it's great to be here."

And it's not the first time the 27-year-old Argentinian has contended in a major. He battled down the stretch at the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie, throwing out 10 birdies, two bogeys and two doubles to close with a 67 and tie for third, just missing the playoff with eventual champ Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia. He finished third. He also tied for eighth at the 2008 Masters and at the 2006 British Open.

He just doesn't make it easy on himself.

He was in the thick of it at Carnoustie until the 17th hole. And, bottom line is, if not for a quadruple bogey-8 at the 16th hole Friday -- his seventh hole -- he would be tied for the lead here.

Romero wasn't looking back, of course, but he's still shaking his head over the hole.

Romero, who won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in March, hit three perfect shots -- a 9-iron and two consecutive 60-degree wedges. The first got blown into the water, the second spun back into the water. The third was long and he two-putted. A third shot found the green.

"It bounced in the front of the green, but like the wind blows just in the moment and it went down to the water," he said. "Then again I had tried to make a good shot, but again a lot of back spin, again to the water.

" . . . I couldn't come back after that eight. I made a double bogey at the 18th because I was mad. And then I was almost fighting for the leader, for the lead in the tournament and suddenly I was trying to make the cut, so I was going mad the whole round the rest of the round."

Saturday, he played with a magic touch. Especially at the sixth where his tee shot hit the pin and stayed there for birdie. He also got revenge at 16, with an 8-iron to two meters for birdie. He finished off his 67 with a spectacular save from the rough at the 18th.

"The ball was almost in between the grass and the sand, the stance was awful, I have to grab the club checked down, and then well I hit a perfect approach," he said.

It was the perfect comeback, too. A little something he picked up after Carnoustie.

"I learned a lot after that week," he said. "I could have won in Germany and the following week I finished sixth in the Bridgestone and that helped me a lot not to, I don't know, not to go down after that loss."

As he walked away, the rain -- the first of several storms that raked Oakland Hills on Saturday
-- had stopped. He was finished at plus-2. The leaders had miles to go.

He had smile on his face. So, someone asked, how did he finally put that eight behind him?

"Barbeque," Virasoro said pausing as he and Romero both grinned.

"And a couple of beers."

Andres Romero tied the course record at Oakland Hills with his 5-under-par 65. He is the ninth player to shoot that on the South Course. The others are:
George Archer1964 Carling World Open1
Alan Tapie1979 PGA Championship2
David Graham1979 PGA Championship4
Jack Nicklaus1991 U.S. Senior OpenPlayoff with Chi Chi Rodriquez
Chen Tze-Chung1984 U.S. Open1
Andy North1985 U.S. Open2
Dennis Watson1985 U.S. Open2
Tom Lehman1996 U.S. Open3
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